If you’ve been around me long enough, you’ll know that I like to go off and roam on my own, especially when I’m in a new country. Since I was in NYC over the last weekend, I thought, what better way to explore the Big Apple than by walking the entire NYC? Yes, I walked from Manhattan right through the Brooklyn, and almost made it to Staten Island (you’ll have time to do so! I had a flight delay so I lost out on a couple of hours)
I wasn’t really interested in figuring out the complex Subway map of NY, so I decided it would be better to explore by walking, since I would save money (YAY, more to spend on food) and get to see more of the city at the same time. Note: This post contains lots of food, and I probably ate enough for 2 people… but I also walked enough for 2 people so all is well. Haha.
Here’s my itinerary:
(You can combine Day 1 and Day 4 since they were half days each)
Distance covered: <10km
I took a bus (NYC Airporter) from the airport all the way to Grand Central Station which took about an hour. Since I arrived pretty late at night because of a 3 hour flight delay, I just grabbed a quick bite at Grand Central Station and began exploring Midtown West and Times Square.
These places are all near each other so you can see:
-Grand Central Station + the iconic Apple Store
-Grand Central Market
-New York Public Library
-Times Square (Wayyyy too crowded for me)
-Empire State Building
I covered all this in 2 or so hours before I headed back to my accommodation for the night.
Distance covered: ~20km
Okay, so it’s your first full day in NY! Here’s what you can do:
Wake up early to see the view from Top of the Rock (8am should beat the crowds)
If you’re into musicals, head down early at 8am to queue for tickets for a Broadway musical like Les Miserables or Matilda. The TKTS booth is located in Times Square, and they sell discounted tickets for same day shows.
Grab a bite from Breads Bakery, (I visited the small store at Bryant Park) and enjoy your Nutella Babka in Bryant Park. Best Babka Ever.
Check out Rockerfeller Centre and the ice skating rink below it, if you didn’t go there early in the morning. I was lucky to witness an Easter Egg display over Easter weekend.
Just across the road, you’ll see St Patrick’s Cathedral which is beautiful. Pop in to take some photos, say a prayer of thanksgiving that you’re blessed with the privilege of having a holiday in NY, and leave with a smile.
Explore Central Park (I walked through nearly the whole of Central Park in about 3 hours on my way to the American Musuem of Natural History. Take a moment to explore the different gardens like Shakespeares Garden and climb up the Belvedere Tower. Central Park is my favourite place in NY.
I spent close to 4 hours in the AMNH, so make sure to set aside half a day to go there! I really enjoyed myself. If you’re more of an artsy person, you could head to MoMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art instead!
I grabbed lunch at one of the nearby food carts, which you’ll see lining the streets. They sell everything from Kebabs and hot dogs to giant salted pretzels. In the mornings, these food carts sell bagels, pastries, muffins and freshly made egg breakfast sandwiches.
I had dinner with my friends at Shake Shack and then we grabbed froyo at a nearby store. If you had plans to catch a musical, you’ll probably be watching the musical at night after a nice dinner. But for me, I was done for the day!
Distance covered: ~30km
I hope you are wearing Sports Shoes cause today is a crazy long day of walking. I started my day exploring Washington Square Park, NYU and Trader Joe’s (never been in one!). Then I walked to Chinatown for lunch at Nonya (YAY Singaporean food) and dessert at Big Gay Ice Cream. The queue was surprising long for ice cream, and to quote my exact words… it’s basically a pimped McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone.
After that, I walked along the Hudson River for a bit, and checked out Chelsea Market, which isn’t really anything but a bunch of eateries and way too many people. I walked along the High Line as well! Then I searched for Dough Bakery which has the best donuts in NYC, and I can vouch for that, now that I have tried it. I and the Mocha Almond Crunch and Hibiscus donuts which were so good, and cost $3 each!
After filling your bellies, continue walking towards the Brooklyn side. I grabbed a slice of dollar pizza from Joey Pepperoni’s Pizza which was so good! The crust was thin, and I was lucky to a get a fresh slice out of the oven.
Keep walking until you reach the World Trade Centre and 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Once again, it’s way too crowded, so I didn’t go in. Walk down a little further to find the Bull on Wall Street. I found it, but couldn’t get a photo with it cause there were a huge bunch of people surrounding the bull trying to take selfies.
You’re probably tired now, but don’t give up! Walk to the Brooklyn Bridge to catch the sunset. If you have time to explore Brooklyn, check out the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory before heading back to Manhattan.
If you’re still up for it, hop on the 24 hour Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and explore Staten Island before heading home for a well-deserved rest.
On my way back, I passed through Chinatown and Little Italy again. This time, I grabbed an Egg White Tart from Tai Pan Bakery to fuel me for the long walk home… 30km is no joke, but it was so worth it!
Distance covered: <10km
I only had half a day again. Since it was Easter, I attended Easter Service at Hillsong Church which was held at Manhattan Centre.
Before meeting my friend, I also made a quick stop to The Pennsy to try The Cinnamon Snail’s vegan donuts. It was pretty good, but I prefer Dough’s donuts.
After lunch, I hopped on the NYC Airporter back to the airport, and that’s the end of my weekend in NY! Time flies when you are having fun.
My strategy was basically to cover different sections on each day, like the lower east and west side in a day, and midtown on another day etcetera. I didn’t feel too tired, and got to try lots of food. If you’re on a budget, you could survive on bagels and dollar pizza everyday, but where’s the fun in that? NYC is all about the food 😛 Plus, with all the extra walking you are doing, you can eat more without feeling guilty.
A tip would be to get a data plan, so you can navigate your way using Google Maps or Citymapper. That way you’ll save time, rather than getting lost and roaming random streets 🙂
NYC is filled with tourists, so try to avoid the crowds (if that’s even possible) and don’t just stick to touristy areas. If you’re walking around and you see something interesting, check it out! You don’t have to stick to the guides you see online, yes that includes mine.
Some food that I didn’t get to try include:
Dominique Ansel Cronuts and Cookie Shots
Sushi Burrito at Pokeworks
The Brooklyn Pizza Factory
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
So if you have more time, you might like to try these places too 🙂
Good luck with your trip!